Our 100th post! Who knew we talked so much?
I blogged recently about the change of direction we are taking with our goats. Having sold the meat breed goats, we still needed to get our dairy does bred and explored many options. Not keen on getting another buck – they are stinky and frankly, our last one was a lovable butthead. (Pronunciation guide: The first three syllables of “lovable butthead” are silent.) We looked into artificial insemination (AI) but technicians are few and the ridiculously brief period of receptivity( 6-12 hours) ensures that even if you detect the heat, it will be finished before the AI tech can arrive.
I investigated learning how to do the AI myself, but courses are expensive and halfway across the country. Then would be the challenge of keeping semen onsite ready to be thawed for that narrow window of opportunity – which could occur while we were sleeping!
My does are Oberhasli – a Swiss breed that we have since learned are somewhat rare in this country. I have two friends each with registered Nubian does – another dairy breed – who were also without bucks. You see where this is going…. a shared problem becomes a shared venture. So, we agreed look for a registered, purebred Nubian with good conformation. After looking for some time, we found the perfect candidate, named “4RS Minima Cooper”, but we instead purchased the large dalmatian dog seen below.
And just in case you don’t think he looks tall in a picture by himself, here he is beside one of the Oberhasli does.
So far he has been a perfect gentleman – gentle with the goats and respectful of people.
Kilo and Karina’s response to the new animal in the herd they guard was interesting and, ultimately satisfying. Both initially barked and growled at the large, unfamiliar intruder. Kilo, who is older, bigger, and calmer, rather quickly accepted my assurances that this animal was now one of their own and the two of them experimented a bit to see which of them would yield way to the other, but were amicable soon enough. Karina, on the other hand, frankly didn’t agree with me; she barked at him intermittently for a couple of days, before grudgingly accepting that he belongs. Now they both watch and protect him just as they do the other goats and sheep.
We are excited to see the kids born out of this combination! Per the partnership agreement, Cooper will live at each farm approximately four months each year, servicing 2-3 does at each farm. He is a lucky buck!